Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yoghurt Orange Tarts

Jamie Oliver has a lot to answer for... All of a sudden my bf is using cook books and wanting to try things he sees on tele. This is good. JO might not be everyone's cup of tea but he's certainly making being a decent cook a challenge that macho men are accepting. My fella is however not a macho man. But he cooks now. And this is good.

We were watching JO's 30 Minute Meals on tele and I saw him make some stupidly easy custard tarts. I quite like these tarts, so I thought that I would give them a go, and I ended up making them for my Tapas for Life fundraiser, since Jamie made them look so easy. Let me tell you, they are SO easy and a crowd pleaser. 

I came across a small hurdle though, in that when I went to make them, I realised I was a noob and had no cream or creme fraiche (as the recipe calls for). Hm. A quick look in my fridge and I have low fat Greek yoghurt. I can't be arsed going to the shops and neither can S, so I decided to just use it. Great choice - they were awesome.

Here's what I did... This recipe makes 6 (I tripled it though, and made quite a few!)

1 sheet puff pastry
ground cinnamon
125g Greek yoghurt (approx 1 cup)
2 eggs (I had 42g eggs, really small)
1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
3 tblsp sugar plus extra for sprinkling
4 tbsp sugar (for the caramel)
1 orange (zest and juice)

Preheat oven to 200C.

1) Take your puff pastry sheet and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, then roll it up.

See those layers of cinnamony, sugary goodness? Yum.
2) Cut the roll into 6 pieces (about an inch each), and then pop each piece into a muffin tray, layered side up. You then use your thumb to squish the pastry down, and then stretch it out and up the sides to make a little cup. 

3) Pop the tray into the oven (bottom shelf) and leave them for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

4) In a bowl, combine well the yoghurt, zest of the orange, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

5) Using a dessert spoon, pour a little of the yoghurt mix into the little pastry cups. These aren't meant to be big - the pastry will have shrunk down a little, so you shouldn't need more than a spoonful of mixture per cup.

6) Put the cups back in the oven for 8 minutes.

7) Add 4 tbsp of sugar to a pan with the juice of the orange and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and keep an eye on it, it will start to turn golden brown after a few minutes. When its a golden brown colour turn the heat off - by this stage your tarts aren't far off being done, so the caramel won't go hard.

8) Once you've taken the tarts out of the oven, spoon the caramel over each tart. Make it as neat or rustic as you like.

My oven is much hotter at the back than the front, I discovered. 

Naked tarts.
These are delicious tarts. They aren't that pretty, they're "rustic" little things, but still great! They aren't too sweet, they taste a little like ricotta cake. The orange really comes through, however I couldn't really get much of the cinnamon - next time I'll add more! Once the caramel has set, it kinda bleeds a little all over the top of the custard - this is good, as it covered up the shoddy caramel job I did! It doesn't stay hard for long though. These are best eaten the day after making them, the flavours come together and work themselves out. They're great straight out of the oven, but better if eaten cold, later on. I can imagine this being awesome with orange blossom water too.

This is also my entry to the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop! The theme this month is Layers upon Layers - and puff pastry is layers! As well as the way the bases are made, layering the cinnamon through the pastry... It fits the bill!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spiced apple muffins

I realised at about 7pm that I was meant to bring something to school tomorrow for morning tea... We spent the day out, checking out Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe, wandering Fremantle buying books, and then having tapas at Duende for dinner. I really couldn't be bothered, but I had pretty much everything I needed to bake, and it was better than leaving the house again to buy something. And really, homemade is so much better... I know there will be a spread of last minute shop bought cakes, party pies and chips/dip. I'm totally ok with the party pies though.

I had a quick look through my cookbooks and found a Bill Granger recipe for crunchy topped pear muffins which looked easy and I had all the ingredients. Cept for the pears, cinnamon, pecans and yoghurt.... Its ok, I subbed apples, allspice, slivered almonds and milk. They turned out pretty great! They're the kinda bake that tastes a lot better the next day, as I ate one when it was still pretty hot and I wasn't impressed. An hour later, I ate the other half of it, and it was much better! Hot tip - bake these the day before you need them!

The recipe stated that it made 6 muffins. 6? That's not many... so I doubled the recipe. It made 12 muffins and a cake. I think Bill was using a mega muffin tin! Its OK though because now we have muffins that can be chucked in the freezer ready to be eaten whenever we need em, and I'll take the cake to work! Bonus!

The following recipe is my adaption of Bills recipe, from Holiday.

Crunchy topped spiced apple muffins
Makes 12 cupcake sized muffins

1.5 cup plain flour
3 tsp bicarb
2 tsp allspice
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup canola oil (or any flavourless oil)
2 apples, peeled and diced into 1cm pieces

brown sugar
slivered almonds (I didn't measure them I just poured until it looked right!)

Preheat oven to 180C and line/grease your muffin tin.

1) Add flour, oats, bicarb, allspice, and half the sugar into a bowl and combine.
2) Add the eggs, milk and oil into another bowl and mix thoroughly.
3) Combine the wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix.
4) Fold in the apples gently.
5) Spoon them into the muffin tray, filling them pretty close to the top.
6) Combine the topping ingredients and put a heaped tsp on each muffin.

Pre bake

7) Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Post bake
I doubled this recipe, and ended up having enough for a small cake - this took about 30 minutes and turned out looking gorgeous! I prefer it to the muffins! The muffins didn't rise as much as I thought they would, but they are still light. 

Will I make these again? Yes. But with cinnamon instead, and a little more sugar in the batter, it'll make a world of difference!
Were they easy to make? Yes.
Should you make them? Yes!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Relay for Life - Tapas evening!

After the success of the Breakfast with Benefits event I held in November, my little sister asked me if I wanted to help her out with another event, this time for her Relay for Life team. Obviously I said yes, but I wanted to do something a bit different - so I've gone for a tapas evening! There will be all manner of delicious things, from Chorizo, Jamon, and Manchego cheese, to Sangria, and Rioja! The food and drink will be as local as possible, and where we will be using imported products (Spanish wine etc) then I will be using Australian, preferably Western Australian, companies.

It will be held on the 25th March, and will be capped at about 25 guests. 

So far we have a carton of delicious Custard Cider and 2 bottles of apple port, donated by the very generous and talented brewers at The Real River Company, so already on day 1 of looking for sponsors for the event - we have a carton of the best cider in WA to keep the punters happy! 
Red Hot Spatula, caterer extraordinaire will be donating a voucher for 30% off a cooking class for 6 - which is awesome, I've been to a class of hers and they're FAB, and the food was amazing! 
El Asador, makers of fine Argentinian produce, have also jumped on board again to donate some of their delicious goods - including their delicious chorizo!
The Organic Collective have agreed to be on board again, supplying us with some gorgeous organic potatoes for our patatas bravas and Spanish tortillas!
Urban Locavore are an awesome new business in Perth who gather a collection of Western Australian products and delivers a tasting box full of goodies right to your door! We'll be getting one of these boxes to raffle off!
Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar Mt Lawley is on board again too, with vouchers for their delicious pizzas!

There will be more details to come, and this post will be updated when we get more donations/sponsors. Having prizes and products for the evening donated means that we can spend less on running costs, and make more of a profit to donate to the Cancer Council - so please give generously! Jenni has set up a webpage for her team, and if you'd like to donate you can do so HERE, either directly to the Cancer Council, or you can donate straight into a PayPal account to help cover costs for the fundraising events. ALL PROFITS will be donated directly back to the Cancer Council, and we are trying to get as much donated as we can so our profits are higher!

The relay itself will be held in Katanning (we raised $100 000 last time! Not bad for a small town!), however all fundraising events will be held in Perth.

At the moment we are half booked out already - so if you're interested get in quick! Just send me an email/comment and I'll put your name on the list! Breakfast with Benefits had a waiting list, so get your name down!!

Use Twitter? Look out for the hashtag #tapasforlife!